We obviously need a minimum wage to prevent exploitation. It will take someone smarter than me to decide what it should be. I do have a real concern about setting it at $15 an hour.
We need to start with basic economics. Every buying decision we make depends on whether the product or service has a value to us equal to or greater than the purchase price. Business works exactly the same way. They won’t hire anyone if their economic value is less than their salary. This applies to everyone. It doesn’t matter if they flip hamburger, drive trucks, perform surgery or hit a baseball.
If an employer is forced to pay above economic value, they will do what they can to cut hours or eliminate the job entirely. Bernie Sanders just provided a perfect example (along with a healthy dose of hypocrisy). His campaign employees complained that were earning less than $15 an hour. They got their raise. Now the campaign is cutting their hours.
Those low wage jobs are meant to be starter jobs. As people gain job skills, they move up the ladder. That’s how it has always worked. A dramatic raise in minimum wage means that millions won’t have that first rung on the economic ladder.